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The widow of Alexander Litvinenko is taking legal action accusing Russia of being involved in the murder of her husband one year ago.
Lawyers for Marina Litvinenko say they have evidence that the poison which killed the dissident in London could only have come from a plant owned by the Russian Federation.
Solicitor Louise Christian said a US nuclear expert had traced the radioactive isotope used to poison Mr Litvinenko to the Avangard plant in Russia.
She said the expert believed that it was "almost certain" the Russian state was behind the poisoning because the substance was kept in such high-security conditions.
Ninety-seven percent of the legal production of one of the world’s rarest industrial products — the intensely radioactive isotope polonium-210 — takes place at a closely guarded nuclear reactor near the Volga River, 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow.
In an average year, about 85 grams of the substance is made at the Avangard facility, a former nuclear weapons plant, and then sold under strict controls to Russian and foreign companies that prize it for its abilities to reduce static electricity.
The Avangard plant operates under close government scrutiny. Officials said four organizations were licensed to handle the material made there: the chemistry faculty of Moscow State University; the Federal Nuclear Center in Samara, also on the Volga; Tenex, the state-controlled uranium supplier; and one private company, Nuclon, which uses it for medical devices and transports isotopes to customers.